Saturday, 24 June 2017
Saturday, 17 June 2017
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Chadwick has written over 20 historical novels sold in 18 languages worldwide. Her first novel, The Wild Hunt, won a Betty Trask Award, and The Scarlet Lion was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society, as one of the top ten historical novels of the last decade. Elizabeth's nineteenth novel, To Defy a King, won the RNA Historical Novel Prize in 2011. THE SUMMER QUEEN, the first novel in her stunning Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, has now been followed by THE WINTER CROWN and THE AUTUMN THRONE.
Saturday, 10 June 2017
First things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
'Ned is my brother in arms - a brotherhood forged in the blood of battle and I'll hold this place until I die or he returns.'
'Promise me nothing; a promise disappears quicker than a fools fart.'
'He disliked forests at the best of times with their dark shadowy places and cunning branches and roots that sought to ensnare the unwary'
'...was unused to riding and however they sat her upon the horse, she seemed to find a way to fall off.'
Ned is the main character and I quickly fell in love with his fierce fighting style and optimism, but also his flaws. There are other main characters as well and Birks uses specific dates and even times of day at the beginning of chapters so that he can invest you in many interconnected events. These events are all happening in different places to different people but at the same time. It is masterfully done. It also adds a huge amount to the dramatic irony as you watch characters you have come to love, embark on doomed actions because they haven't got the information they need.
Derek Birks was born in Hampshire in England but spent his teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand where he still has strong family ties. For many years he taught history in a secondary school in Berkshire but took early retirement several years ago to concentrate on his writing.
Apart from writing, he spends his time gardening, travelling, walking and taking part in archaeological digs at a Roman villa. Derek is interested in a wide range of historical themes but his particular favourite is the later Medieval period. He aims to write action-packed fiction which is rooted in accurate history. His debut historical novel, Feud, is set in the period of the Wars of the Roses and is the first of a series entitled Rebels & Brothers which follows the fortunes of the fictional Elder family. The sequel to Feud, A Traitor's Fate, was published in November 2013 and Book 3, Kingdom of Rebels, was released on August 31st 2014.
The final book in the series, The Last Shroud, was published on 31st August 2015.The first book in a new series, Scars From the Past was released in November 2016.
Saturday, 3 June 2017
|Not being familiar with Galliard (a source of shame for this letterpress seller,) I looked Galliard up and find it a delightful font.|
Margaret Skea grew up in Ulster at the height of the 'Troubles', but now lives with her husband in the Scottish Borders.
Awarded the Beryl Bainbridge Award for Best First Time Author 2014 and Historical Fiction Winner in the Harper Collins / Alan Titchmarsh People's Novelist Competition for her debut novel Turn of the Tide, the sequel A House Divided was longlisted for the Historical Novel Society New Novel Award 2016. The third book in the series will be published in autumn 2017. She is passionate about well-researched, authentic historical fiction and providing a 'you are there' experience for the reader.
An Hawthornden Fellow and award winning short story writer - recent credits include, Overall Winner Neil Gunn, Chrysalis Prize, and Winchester Short Story Prize. Third in the Rubery Book Award Short Story Competition 2013, a finalist in the Historical Novel Society Short Story Competition 2012, shortlisted in the Mslexia Short Story Competition 2012 and the Fish Short Story and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Short Story Competition 2014, the Matthew Pritchard Award, and Fish One Page Prize, she has been published in a range of magazines and anthologies in Britain and the USA.
New collection of short stories - Dust Blowing and Other Stories, including some of those from competitions mentioned above is now available.
Margaret is also my hero for coming to my aid when I had a broken leg in Oxford. Not just once, but twice. Thank you, my hero!
© Diana Milne January 2017 © Margaret Skea 26th May 2017